Kate Gosselin will make her TLC solo series debut this summer with "Twist of Kate," a new reality format in which America’s most infamous TV mom abandons her kids in order to see how other less well-known people deal with life’s messiness.
TLC officially took the wraps off the long-anticipated series Thursday morning, just before parent company Discovery Networks presented its group-wide slate of programming to advertisers via a splashy presentation in New York. Because Gosselin filmed a pilot for the new show (and possibly pilots for other possible formats), there had been widepread reports of a new project for months, including a January report on TheWrap that accurately predicted the show’s format (TLC at the time dismissed the report as "speculation").
In the end, TLC execs decided to settle on "Twist of Kate," in which "Gosselin travels around the country to find out how other people juggle work, family and all the other challenges life throws at them," the network said. "In each episode, she’ll walk a mile in someone else’s shoes — meeting real families in the middle of their own extraordinary challenges. She’ll try out their jobs…see how their home life runs… see what they’re up against… and find out what they do to let off steam. Each family will have some unique circumstance that is a story in itself."
We’d call it "Life Swap," except there’s no sign the other folks get to have custody of eight kids, deal with an adulterous hubby or dance poorly on national TV. What the "real" people do get: Gosselin’s advice and assistance to Make Things Better.
"As Kate gets to know them she’ll roll up her sleeves and see what she can do to help," TLC is promising.
The new show will premiere this summer.
What’s not mentioned in TLC’s small burst of info about "Twist of Kate" is the eight children in her custody. While the now-canceled "Jon & Kate Plus 8" allowed Gosselin to be a reality star while tending to her kids at home, the conceit of "Twist of Kate" means she has to hit the road to her new job (just as she’s had to travel to LA to appear on "Dancing with the Stars").
It’s hard to imagine Kate’s 8 criss-crossing the country with her, while also getting an education. Perhaps TLC is planning another show focusing on the nannies or other people taking care of the Gosselin kids in Kate’s absence. Or maybe Jon Gosselin actually has a point when he complains about his ex-wife’s absence in the raising of their kids.
TLC’s slate of new fare also includes "Sarah Palin’s Alaska," the documentary series set to air in the fall or early winter of this year.
The channel is also bringing back "American Chopper," having faked the show’s death earlier this year. It’ll now be subtitled "Senior vs. Junior" and feature the two leads fighting each other for hog supremacy.
Kelly Ripa will also star in a sort of one-person "Shark Tank," sorting through tons of product ideas from real people and deciding which one she should pitch on HSN. It’s set for this summer.
TLC also is adding more multiple birth families to its schedule, greenlighting "Multitude of Multiples" and "Quintuplets Surprise." (We’re seriously expecting Discovery to spin-off a new channel devoted to nothing but parents with six or more kids.)
Also in the works: More dessert drama ("Cake Boss College"! "Cupcake Sisters"!) and two spinoffs of "Say Yes to the Dress."